With a book by the author of Beaches (Iris Rainer Dart), one can be certain that emotional buttons will be pushed with laughs turning to tears and tissues passed all around the theatre. On paper, this multi-generational show about a Jewish immigrant reads either as the next Grey Gardens or a schmaltz fest ready for community theatres to devour and overdo. The presence of Donna Murphy and director Leonard Foglia, however, tends to make look at this with more seriousness than I might have otherwise, for neither has a track record of just doing a show to do a show. In fact, the casting of the show in its entirety brings this little show, which has flown almost completely under the radar, into potential "take it all away from the big, splashy shows" potential.
She is being supported by a cast of pretty decent heavy-hitters, as well. Joining her will be Alexander Gemignani (Sweeney Todd, Assassins), Christopher Innvar (Les Miserables - original, 110 in the Shade, Victor/Victoria), Nicole Parker (Wicked, Martin Short: fame Becomes Me), Rachel Resheff (Shrek, Billy Elliot, Mary Poppins), Hal Robinson (Grand Hotel: The Musical, Nich and Nora, Cabaret - 1998), Lewis J. Stadlen (The Producers, Minnie's Boys, 45 Seconds from Broadway), Joyce Van Patten (Brighton Beach Memoirs, Rumors), and Chip Zien (Into the Woods, Falsettos, A New Brain).
I have a good feeling about this show, after all.
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